Pittsburgh Pirates at Detroit Tigers #2 – MLB April 21

6:40 p.m. ET – Pirates at Tigers (-120) O/U: 6

The 7-9 Pirates take on the 6-10 Tigers in a doubleheader on Wednesday after weather caused a postponement on Tuesday. Major League Baseball has implemented the same seven-inning rule for doubleheaders in 2021 that they experimented with during the 6- game 2020 season.

Pittsburgh has won three consecutive series entering the doubleheader Wednesday, while Detroit is coming off a four-game sweep in Oakland.

About the Pirates

Pirates LogoThe Pirates have been better offensively than most were expecting after trading away Josh Bell to the Nationals in the offseason. They are averaging 7.9 hits per game, which ranks 10th in the big leagues. Left fielder Bryan Reynolds and second baseman Adam Frazier have been the major reasons for this, as both batting over 300.

Pittsburgh is in the top 10 of batting average against right-handed pitching with a .240 team average. Third baseman Colin Moran has picked up the slack left by a few others, as he leads the team with four home runs and 13 RBI while batting .298. Right fielder Gregory Polanco has come out of the gate batting .178 with only two home runs and three RBI. Polanco hit .153 last season and needs to have a bounce-back year if the Pirates hope to continue their winning ways. Pittsburgh’s pitching staff has a 4.92 ERA, the worst in the National League through 16 games.

About the Tigers

Detroit Tigers LogoDetroit has scored the fourth-fewest runs this season with 3.4 per game. First baseman Miguel Cabrera and right fielder Nomar Mazara are both currently on the 10-Day Injured List, which obviously has hurt the Tigers’ offensive production. Catcher Wilson Ramos has hit six home runs early on this season, tying him for the American League lead.

Third baseman Jeimer Candelario also has gotten off to a hot start and is batting .295 with 7 RBI as one of the veteran leaders of the team despite being only 27 years old. Hitting has not been the biggest problem for Detroit as its pitching staff owns a 5.13 ERA, the highest in all of baseball.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Pittsburgh Pirates +1½ (-195) +117 O 6 (-120)
Detroit Tigers -1½ (+170) -127 U 6 (+100)

The Pitching Matchup

The Pirates are giving the ball to right-hander Mitch Keller, who has started the season with a 1-2 record in 11.1 innings of work and a bloated 8.74 ERA in three starts this year. The 25-year-old Keller has been one of the highest prospects in baseball, but has yet to find sustained success at the Major League level yet.

For the Tigers, right-hander Spencer Turnbull is making his season debut after contracting COVID-19 earlier. He posted a 3.97 ERA and a record of 4-4 over 56.2 innings pitched in the 2020 season. It was the best season of Turnbull’s career, with hitters batting .226 against him. Then again, he posted a won-loss record of 3-17 in 2019 with the loss total the highest in the American League, although he certainly wasn’t solely to blame for all the defeats. He pitched 4.5 innings against Cincinnati’s alternate site team last Thursday before manager A.J. Hinch determined he was ready to make his season debut.

What’s the Bet?
It is difficult to find value on Over/Under totals in the second game of a doubleheader like this one because both games of a DH are shortened to seven innings now. But in this matchup it offers a great bet. Pittsburgh starter Mitch Keller has struggled to find consistency in his big-league career and with how much he has struggled it is likely that the Tigers will jump on him early and often.

While Detroit starter Spencer Turnbull is coming off the best season of his career, it is not wise to bet the Tigers due to the uncertainty surrounding his return from COVID-19. It is the second game of a doubleheader, so both bullpens should be thin. All of which places the most value on the Over when considering the O/U total.

Take the Over and watch these two bad baseball teams get in a high-scoring affair on Wednesday night in the Motor City, even with the shortened contest.
The Bet
Over 6 Runs

*Odds courtesy of MyBookie

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Joe Menzer / Author

Joe is an award-winning writer and editor who has covered the NBA, NFL, NASCAR, golf, various collegiate athletics and other sports for newspapers, Turner Sports, Fox Sports and ESPN. He has been on the beat for seven Super Bowls, six Daytona 500s and numerous NBA playoff series and All-Star Games. He once was dispatched to Rome, Italy to spend time with an NBA draft choice who opted to play overseas, after which he produced an award-winning series of stories. He also is passionate about fantasy sports and breaking down games in ways that even novice gamblers can use to make their most intelligent wagering decisions.